Despite their tiny size and low status on the food chain, Menhaden fish really are the most important fish in America. They have a substantial effect on sports fishing and commercial fishing because they are essential to ecosystems in the Atlantic and Gulf waters. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has finally agreed to set more conservative standards that will ultimately help menhaden fish populations recover from overfishing.
Success! In part due to the help of the 46, 804 Care2 members who signed this petition, these important fish have been saved!
Menhaden serve a plethora of purposes in the water. They naturally filter 4 gallons of water a minute and clean phytoplankton and excess algae from the ocean floor, in addition to being prey for numerous sea fish and animals. Director of Southeast Fish Conservation at the Pew Environment Group, Holly Binns notes,“Saltwater fishing, whale watching, and bird watching—which rely on species that eat menhaden—generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year on the East Coast. The new benchmarks will help sustain our coastal economies and communities.”
Overfishing of the menhaden dates back all the way to 1879 when they were used for fertilizers, oil and animal feed. These fish have an overwhelming history of being taken for granted. The new fishing standards will reduce the harvests of menhaden by up to 37 percent each year. This is a huge victory for Menhaden fish and the ecosystems that they dutifully serve.
Care2 sends a huge thanks to members for saving the most important fish in America!
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